Wednesday morning, the MacArthur Foundation announced its list of “Genius Grants.” On the list to receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000 is Libyan poet and translator Khaled Mattawa, who said he plans to use the money to further his translations and take on larger projects.
The fall lecture schedule for Cairo’s Center for Translation studies includes talks by translator and academic Margaret Litvin (Hamlet’s Arab Journey), award-winning playwright Laila Soliman (Egyptian Products, Whims of Freedom), and award-winning scriptwriter Mariam Naoum (Zaat, Sign al-Nisaa):
Translator Max Shmookler, who is currently co-editing a collection of Sudanese short stories with ArabLit contributor Raphael Cormack, explores the tension between what Sudanese readers think is a great story and the story that will appear “great” in English translation.
Dalya Alberge, writing in The Guardian, asserted Saturday that there is a “mini-boom” in literature translated into English. It’s hard to say if that’s the case — Alberge doesn’t have hard numbers — but the success of A Bird is Not a Stone is surely instructive.
Yesterday, ArabLit posted about a new Mohamed Choukri International Award while making only slight mention of the circumstances under which Choukri’s seminal “al-Khubz al-Hafi” was translated into English. Indeed, calling it a translation is perhaps inaccurate.
The US-based National Endowment for the Arts has announced the latest round of literary translation fellowships.
No Arabic-language books made the 15-title longlist for the American Literary Translators Association’s 2014 National Translation Award (NTA). The sole Arab title was Habib Tengour’s “Crossings,” beautifully translated from the French by poet Marilyn Hacker.
On July 11, Marfa Public Radio aired an interview with Lannan Writer/Translator-in-Residence Kareem James Abu-Zeid, who has recently been working on translations of work by Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish, Lebanese novelist Rabee Jaber, and Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail. He spoke particularly about the challenges and excitement of translating Darwish’s collected poems.
Some vision of “fidelity” to a translated work is surely necessary — otherwise, what would make it a translation? — but the “Temporary Center for Translation,” which opens tomorrow at the New Museum in New York, interregates “what exactly constitutes a likeness.”
A three-day conference on translation, called “The Only Thing Worth Globalizing is Dissent: Translation and the Many Languages of Resistance,” is set to be held in Cairo from March 6-8, 2015.
Arabic has gone from virtual invisibility in English to the “fourth-most-translated” literary language (at least in the US). Part of that is the funding support behind translations from the Arabic; this year, both the “PEN Promotes” and “PEN Translates” grants are supporting Arabic translations.
London’s Poetry Translation Centre is marking its tenth anniversary with a collection — titled My Voice — and a series of readings.